Wednesday, 13 August 2014

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Clyde-Sider Journey - Part One

Welcome to the first in a series of posts about my time as a 'Clyde-Sider'.  I have written these as I have done the various media days, training days and my shifts, but I am only posting them now that the Games are over due to media rules!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the ups and downs of my time volunteering for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games! 

This post was written in October 2013 - I've been waiting for AGES to post it!

It's not everyday you get an email inviting you to attend a media day to promote the launch of the collective name for Glasgow 2014 Games time volunteers.  Within the email it was also revealed that I had indeed been given my Games Time volunteering role, and would be one of the very first to receive my official confirmation on the day of the launch, how exciting!  With no idea how many people were going to be invited, or if I would know any of the other people, I was full of excitement and intrigue and very much looking forward to the day.  I had no idea what it would be like, and even if I did, I don't think I could have imagined it being exactly like it was.  First of all I had to write a bit about myself and my previous volunteering experience for Glasgow 2014 to include in one of their press releases - all very official sounding!

Then the day came, I travelled up to Bridge of Allan (where I was staying at my friend Hannah's) the night before because it would be an awful lot easier to get to Glasgow for a morning start than from home.  A few things went wrong, best to get them out of the way before the event though I thought: firstly my trousers split, luckily before I had left Hannah's, secondly it was a replacement bus service for half the journey to Glasgow and thirdly the connecting train was cancelled.  Luckily I had plenty of spare time, so it didn't mean a big rush and I still managed to have breakfast in Central Station.

I arrived at the Riverside Museum, to find a couple of people waiting outside, because the Museum wasn't open.  These people were some more lucky volunteers to be chosen to attend this launch - so at least I knew I was in the right place, and at the right time!

When everyone had arrived, we were given official documents which detailed which roles we had been assigned to and a little about the role.  The role I have been given for Games Time has a rather long title - Commonwealth Games Association [CGA] Assistant within CGA Relations located at the Athlete's Village.  This role is similar to the GamesMaker role (Athlete Services Assistant) that I had in Glasgow for London 2012 Olympics, however there is a bit more to do, not least because ALL the teams will be located here and not just 4.  I am very excited about this role, as the Athlete's Village looks amazing, I can't wait to have a proper look at it, and I'm looking forward to finding out which delegation/s I will be able to help have an enjoyable Glasgow 2014 experience.  The athlete's village is also situated right next to one of my favourite places in Glasgow, The Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, so being able to view that each day on the way to my shift will be an added bonus!  I will not always be in the Athlete's Village though, as I am to visit the different venues as and when required - this will most likely be to accompany a team or member of a delegation that needs to go somewhere.  Glasgow is going to be buzzing during the Games, and I cannot wait to be an integral part of it!  I still remember the feeling when I walked to my shifts at the Marriott every day, feeling on top of the world, not quite believing what I was doing, and who I was was working with.  On top of that, I made friends for life during my time, and have also experienced other events down to the contacts I made through volunteering for London 2012, so I have no doubt at all that Glasgow 2014 will be the same, if not better.

Anyway, I digress... On to the media day - first of all was the photo shoot and the revealing of the name for the Volunteers - CLYDE-SIDERS (must not forget the hyphen!).  Below are a few pictures:

Me, Katherine & Joanne
We were photographed by 4 or 5 photographers - doesn't sound many, but believe me, it felt like a lot.  "look at this camera", "this camera now", "over here", "back at this camera now"..... what an experience!  It was very windy on the side of the Clyde though, so I was very impressed that there were a few photos which did not have my hair covering my face!  It did get hard to maintain a natural smile towards the end, as the wind was making my mouth really dry.
Afterwards, we were then onto TV and radio interviews.  This was so surreal.  "Emma, if you could go and talk to the Press Association", "BBC is next for you", "Capital Radio would like to talk to you next", "If you could just have a wee word with this journalist from The Sun"... there were a few other TV and radio interviews, but I lost track of who I spoke to, it was a whirlwind of questions and interviewers, as well as trying not to let the wind ruin everything too much!!

Me, Clyde & Katherine on the BBC News Channel!
Me, Clyde & Katherine after being interviewed by the BBC

This is the youtube video published by the Press Association:

Once this was all done and dusted, we thought that that was the end of our media adventure, but no, me and Katherine were asked to go along to the BBC Scotland building in order to do a couple more interviews. First off was a LIVE interview on the John Beattie radio show on BBC Radio Scotland.  This was me, Katherine and head of Games Workforce Valerie.  We were interviewed in the studio by John Beattie (who I have now found out is a former British and Irish Lion rugby player - and his son plays Rugby Union for Scotland, and his daughter plays football for Scotland!!) and two other co-presenters.  It was a bit nerve-wracking to start with, but we could all feed off each other and know that if we didn't know what to say someone else could jump in and save you.  In the end it was my favourite interview of the day and it's not everyday you end up in a proper radio studio, let alone live on BBC Radio Scotland!  Next was another live interview, this time with Radio 5 Live.  I didn't enjoy this interview as much, as we were a little pushed for time, and the interviewer didn't really ask relevant questions.

Me in the Radio Studio before 5 Live interview

After this, Katherine was then interviewed live on the BBC News Channel, and although I didn't see this for real on the TV, I watched it being recorded and it sounded great!  How fabulous!

And with that, our very surreal media day, and our first as official Clyde-Siders, was done.  What an amazing day, which was then topped off by featuring on BBC News 24, BBC Scotland News and lots of online articles that evening, and in numerous newspapers the next day.

Part One -      - Part Two -      - Part Three -      - Part Four -      - Part Five -      - Part Six -
Part Seven -      - Part Eight -      - Part Nine -      - Part Ten -


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